Saturday, January 11, 2014

Oh Happy Day

I have a dilemma every time I sit down to write here. I would love for this page to be like a journal for me. To spill my soul, to have honest conversations with myself and come to wonderful revelations and understandings about my ever-changing twenties. And when the urge comes to write, I suddenly remember the small detail that this blog, however unpopular and unpublicized, is in fact public. That anyone can read what is created here. That small detail stops me, or at least hinders me, censors me.

But slowly, I am trying to be more honest here. And in a way I hope that helps me to be more open in the real world around me. So I have to share this fact: that I am lonely in this busy city. Not all the time. Because I am busy. My busyness serves as a distraction. But then there are days when I have nothing planned, there's nothing on the schedule and I have a moment to catch up with myself. It's in those moments that I am sometimes choked by loneliness. I don't even know what it is I am missing. If it's my family, my friends, my dog. For sure I am happy here. For sure I like my life here, or at least the direction in which it is heading. But sometimes I feel as though there is an old, American, country soul deep in me that longs for the mountains and the smells of my home. My home which is far away, and those feelings seem to also be far from reach inside me as well. As if I can't get in touch with who I am, or who I was. Or that the tranquility and peace I need on those quiet days can only come when I am close to my roots. That's the best way I can explain the feeling.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Stop. Can't touch me.

All my positivity and determined energy to go back to work in the new year with a bang has been halted. And quite suddenly at that.

Helloooo pink eye! It's been a long time since I've caught up with my old friend conjunctivitis, so I guess it was finally time again. In addition to the swelling, redness, and constant tearing of my eye (I will spare you a picture here..) I have completely no tolerance to light whatsoever. My computer and phone screen, brightness level as low as can be, are the only sources of light in my apartment, along with the occasional opening of the refrigerator door which takes minutes to prepare for and even more to recover from. So I am sentenced to solitary confinement for a few days- the doctor literally said "no besos a nadie." And when I asked him when I could return to the gym he responded two weeks! TWO WEEKS! Well see if I follow that request.. The task of finding a doctor who would see me, and then blindly making my way to his office via bus was, if I hadn't been in so much discomfort, quite hilarious. Thankfully the bus is usually carrying a few weirdos, so me wearing both my glasses and sunglasses holding a tissue over one eye and barely opening the other, bumping into every old person next to me, wasn't considered too out of the ordinary. Just another weirdo on the bus.

So my goal for the weekend is to eventually be able to lift my blackout blinds and let some light into my apartment so my plants don't die. Wish me luck.

To ease you from imagining my paining eye, I will leave you with a picture of the vertical garden of the Caixa Forum (constructed by French botanist Patrick Blanc). It's quite a beautiful sight, and the perfect contrast to the austere buildings it surrounds. It is paid for by "la caixa" foundation, who I have recently read about and completely identify with. They are a social nonprofit committed to human rights, dignity, peace and justice. Read their mission statement below..

"To contribute to the advance of people and society, with particular emphasis on the most vulnerable groups, whether through its own programmes, strategic alliances or collaboration with third parties, by means of efficient and, if appropriate, innovative actions, whose results can be evaluated and are transferable to other entities. With a preferred area of action within Spain, and with a global and coherent view of the international situation. All of this, guided by objectives of sustainable social transformation and creation of opportunities."

Talk to you again when I can open both eyes!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Happy Three Kings Day!

 With some milk and snacks laid out under the Christmas tree, the children of Spain go to sleep early on January 5th. Letters to the kings have been sent, parades in the street have ended, and epiphany day, El Día de los Reyes, is finally here. The day of the 6th is a day similar to our Christmas morning. Children wake up and open their presents from the Three Kings, Nacho and I included. I awoke in Nacho's family's house to a living room full of presents. The day was filled with giving, hugging, and the usual chaos that ensues in large family getogethers.
Posing amidst mountains of presents are Nacho,
his dad and his sister, Bea
My favorite gift! Oh, the things I can now create in the kitchen! Thanks, Bea!

Three Kings Day Parade in Majadahonda
Someone got ahold of my phone at the parade
The day ended with me flopping down on the couch, with an immobility that arises from a mixture of too much food, conversation and playing with over-excited kids. The holidays are now officially over, and it's back to reality. Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar were very good to me. In addition to my new culinary appliances I now have a new backpack, gloves, scarves, a new purse, perfume, socks, a necklace and ring (and Nachy's present still on its way!). And my present to myself- a new gym membership!! With Nachy's help I found a great gym 5 minutes walking from my apartment. It's reasonably priced and today I went to my first Spanish spin class. For once I felt in a familiar place. I am beyond happy with my new gym and can't wait to try other classes!

Back to work tomorrow! Renewed and ready! I leave you with a little street music I ran into..

Monday, January 6, 2014

Story Editing- An Interesting Listen!

Take a listen to this:

This blog seems to be an extension of this theory- there are no lies, but typing out how I feel about things definitely helps me to make sense of it all. And this is definitely a reason why I believe in writing therapy!


Lately I've been feeling distracted. With so much outside my door, there is this constant urge in me to get outdoors. Buy. See. Go. Go. Go. Taste. Smell. Take pictures. On to the next thing. City life is new and exciting. But what I have realized recently is quantity sometimes takes value over quality. My days are full, which for sure is a good thing. But I have been passing through each part of my day in auto-mode. This needs to change.

Over this Christmas break I've had a chance to relax. For the first time since my arrival in Madrid I have had real time to do nothing. And somewhere within, somewhere unconscious deep inside me, I needed this time. And I have finally realized the importance in this. And with this beautiful time I have allowed my head to clear and to take things a bit slower.

With this new appreciation of time my hope is that instead of checking things off a list, I will appreciate more my working day, and relax more in my free time. Focus less on what I am doing, and more on how I am doing it. And above all try to avoid rushing through my day just so I can get back into bed. This will be my mantra as I enter back into the working world on Wednesday.

I leave you with some pics of sushi night :)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

dos mil catorce

You know, as I told you all, 2013 was pretty damn good to me. I did lots of exploring, lots of learning, lots of growing, and had lots of fun. Tengo muchas ganas por 2014. I am anticipating a year of writing. I am calling for more introspection and self-progress. I am expecting much more laughter, exploration, and saying yes to new things. Beyond that, I can tell you no more. And that's exactly how I want it.

So here's to a good year for all. Cheers!